Space

Glen Grant The Major’s Reserve

Reviewed by: Nick

Glen Grant Majors Reserve

I freely admit, as I begin this review, that my primary motivation when purchasing this bottle was the fact that it was cheap. In fact, I recall as a broke uni student I had bought it for exactly the same reason. I also remember not being overly impressed. However, these days, with a more… ahem… experienced palate, surely I would find something to enjoy in Glen Grant’s entry level release. Surely there was more to this whisky than simply being cheap.

Upon opening the plain packaging I discovered a rarity in the single malt world: a screw top lid. Now, I can forgive them this because, after all, they’re indirectly saving the planet with such an approach, however this fact did nothing to shake the ‘cheap’ tag. Only one thing could: the flavour… and it let me down.

The nose has that cloying red-label-esque sweetness of lemon dish detergent alongside toffee-apple and honey notes. It is passable but not memorable. The palate is pretty rough, though offers some nice barley notes set against oak and vanilla. It is typical Speyside fare, though far from one of my favourites. The finish is spicy, malty and a little buttery. Again, nothing offensive but equally, nothing special.

The Glen Grant Major’s reserve is a whisky that epitomises its price point. It doesn’t punch above its weight but it also remains fairly quaffable. It is a cheap single malt and tastes as such. But hey, on the plus side, at least it doesn’t cost much!

★★

Ardbeg returns from space!

Posted by: Nick

My good friend and drinking guru Scott once successfully fooled me into believing the bottle of Ardbeg Galileo he was pouring me a nip of had actually been into space. As in the very bottle he held in his hand. I was naturally overawed and sipped my drink reverently, commenting stupidly how the lack of atmosphere did not diminish it’s peaty flavours. He eventually came clean and confessed the reason that it’s peaty flavours were undiminished was because it had never actually left earth. It was created in honour of the Ardbeg space project, where a barrel had indeed been sent into space. I had just not been drinking it.

Fast forward to the present and the Ardbeg space program has now landed! Three years and 15 570 orbits later, a barrel of Ardbeg’s finest is currently being inspected by men in white coats, and of course, Ardbeg whisky creator, Dr Bill Lumsden, to find out about the effects of zero gravity on the maturation process. The question remains, however, what will these effects be? Will my learned whisky drinking friend Bonnie be correct in her assertion that the whisky would have spent three years in a ball in the centre of the barrel, not interacting with the wood at all? Or could this be the birth of a new super-whisky?

What is certain, however, is that Ardbeg are celebrating in the best way possible – by bringing out a new release of their famous (and currently out of stock) Supernova! Plus, you can play an Islay-themed version of space invaders, so it’s worth checking out the site simply for enjoyable procrastinatory reasons alone!

Space travel and Islay-whisky. Life surely does not get more exciting than this.

Ardbeg in space